The Apprenticeship Levy is now one year old. But shockingly, recent research by The Open University has revealed that of the £1.39 billion paid in Levy contributions since it came into effect, only £108 million has been withdrawn and utilised by the companies paying into it – that’s just 8%.
Businesses currently paying the Levy have 24 months to access the funds from the day the contribution is made. But if businesses continue to spend at the current rate, it is reported that they risk losing as much as a collective £139 million per month from April 2019.
David Willett, Corporate Director at The Open University, said that it is essential that employers in England get return on investment by embracing apprenticeships.
“As an industry, we appreciate there have been some teething issues, but we’re here to help business leaders work through it and develop programmes that best fit their needs, allowing them to fill skills gaps and future-proof their organisations against the changing world around them”
A survey of UK employers found that 92% of Levy paying organisations agree with the Apprenticeship Levy in principle. So why are they not utilising the funds?
The study showed that the most significant barrier to accessing apprenticeship level study is the availability and flexibility of the programmes. It reported that other concerns included a lack of resource within the business to develop an apprenticeship strategy, or to research relevant providers.
With such a large amount being paid into the Apprenticeship Levy, it is essential that employers get return on their investment by using the funds to fill essential skills gaps and future proof their supply chain.
Bis Henderson can help break down the barriers of the Apprenticeship Levy for you:
Flexibility of the programmes
They’re probably more flexible than you think; we can show you how to make the new qualifications work for your business by understanding your training and development goals and aligning them with the most suitable fundable standard. In other words, rather than thinking up creative ways to spend your Levy credits, we can put a bespoke programme together that meets all of your training needs whilst using the Levy to fund it.
Lack of resource in your business
We can support you from the very first planning stages and beyond, working with your existing team to review any existing development programmes you may have, evaluating your workforce’s current skill level, developing a high-level Training Needs Analysis and designing a complete programme that works for you and your business. We’ll even build an internal communications programme to generate awareness and engagement of your new programme.
If your business is currently paying into the Levy and not utilising the funds, now is the time to take action. Contact us now to book a free consultation.